The nephew of a local politician posted an offensive comment on Facebook. A mob attacked the politician’s home and a police station, injuring some 60 policemen. About 110 protesters and the post’s author have been arrested. For the Archbishop of Bangalore, violence is never a solution; intercommunal dialogue is needed.
Bengaluru (AsiaNews) – Three people died last night in Bengaluru (Bangalore), Karnataka, and 60 policemen were injured after police used tear gas at an angry mob of Muslims protesting an offensive post on Facebook against the Prophet Mohammed.
It all started with a comment, later removed, posted on the well-known social networking service by a nephew of R Akhanda Srinivasmurthy, a member of Karnataka’s Legislative Assembly.
Hundreds of people gathered in front of the politician's home throwing stones and carrying out acts of vandalism. They attacked policemen trying to quell the protest and set fire to about fifteen vehicles.
The mob also attacked a police station in KG Halli, the area where the riots broke out. Police arrested the author of the post and 110 people who participated in the twin attack.
Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant justified the use of weapons, stressing that police agents had to use live ammunition to disperse the angry mob because the latter would not budge with tear gas and batons.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa slammed the incident and called on the State’s Home Affairs Minister Basavaraj Bommai to bring the situation under control.
For Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore, this is an unfortunate incident. “The loss of [three] lives is most regrettable and lamented,” he told AsiaNews.
“The Church in Bengaluru appeals for peace,” he said. “Violence is never a solution. We must seek redress through dialogue, harmony and peaceful coexistence.”
In fact, some people showed some interreligious solidarity. As violence raged in the eastern part of the city, a group of young Muslims rushed to protect a Hindu temple from possible assaults (video).